Crispy Baked Onion Rings

Crispy Baked Onion Rings

"These are impossible to resist", my hubby gushed as he munched on yet another onion ring at our favorite Irish pub. I gave him a look of mock disbelief - a few minutes ago he was complaining that they had enough grease in them to keep him well-lubricated for life had he been a machine! "You put up a good fight though", I said, taking a jab at his 'resistance'. "If only some genius could strip out the grease", hubby mused, not realizing that he had triggered my cooking instincts. Ergo, presenting Baked Onion Rings! Delicious, light & crispy sans the deep-frying & the grease and associated calories. A great taste that doesn't sit on the waist - this catchy phrase perfectly describes these crispy, delectable, healthy and low-fat bites.

The recipe of these Baked Onion Rings is simple & straight-forward though it takes some time to make. But you will forget all the effort with the very first bite as the delightful crunchiness of the outer coating blends with the zestful piquancy of the baked onion to release a torrent of flavors in your mouth... if someone spots your tears of unabated pleasure, blame it on the onion :)  To enhance the taste, I added Italian seasoning to give the rings a peppy, lively flavor and some cayenne pepper to give it (just a little!) spicy kick. Also, my recipe ensures that the breadcrumb coating stays where it belongs - viz, on the onion rings & not at the bottom of the baking tray, a common problem when making this snack. Serve these Baked Onion Rings as an evening snack, at parties, or as a side dish. You can eat many more of them than the deep-fried version, without getting that queasy after-taste or the guilt trip that inevitably follows any calorie-filled snacking. In other words, make a lot of them if you want to fully satisfy your snack cravings!

Polishing off the last baked onion ring, my hubby gushed, "These are impossible to resist". I wholeheartedly agree! :)

CRISPY  BAKED  ONION  RINGS  RECIPE

Ingredients -
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled & ends trimmed
1 cup low fat Buttermilk; see tip #2
3/4 cup + 3tbsp All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Red Chilli Powder) or to taste
1/8 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper or to taste
Cooking Spray

How to make Crispy Baked Onion Rings

Preparation -
  1. Slice onions into 1/2-inch circles and separate into rings, keeping only large & medium whole rings (reserve the small onion rings for other uses). Keep aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse panko breadcrumbs till you get fine crumbs. In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, salt, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper & black pepper. Leave 1/3 of the breadcrumbs mixture in the bowl & keep aside the remaining 2/3.
  3. In a resealable plastic bag, add 3/4 cup of all purpose flour. Keep aside.
  4. In a separate large shallow bowl, combine buttermilk & 3 tbsp of flour till smooth. Keep aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place parchment paper onto 2 baking sheets & set aside.
Final process -
  1. Dip the onion rings (in batches) in the buttermilk mixture & then add them to the flour bowl/bag. Once all the onion rings are added, seal the bag & shake until rings are well coated with flour.
  2. Dip a flour-coated onion ring again into the buttermilk mixture.  Let excess liquid drip off, then place the soaked onion  into the breadcrumbs mixture.
  3. Using a fork, coat all the sides of the onion ring with the bread crumbs, turning and pressing the breadcrumbs gently to help the coating adhere (Once the breadcrumbs mixture gets very clumpy or stops coating the rings properly, replace it with a fresh batch of 1/3 of the reserved breadcrumbs mixture). 
  4. Using the fork, place the coated onion ring on the baking sheet in a single layer (return the fork to the breadcrumbs bowl). You can place smaller rings inside bigger rings if necessary, just make sure there is space between them. Repeat the process for the remaining onion rings.
  5. Spray oil evenly over the rings.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown turning the rings halfway through. Serve immediately.
TIPS
  1. Avoid using fingers especially while coating the onion rings with breadcrumbs, using a fork will help to retain the coating around the rings. Also, to prevent clumping of bread crumbs, do not use the breadcrumbs mixture fork for any other purposes other than stated.
  2. If you don't have buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk (you can use 2% low-fat milk) & 1 tbsp white vinegar. Leave it for 10 minutes, then use it as buttermilk.

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Angie, they indeed are & delicious too :)

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  2. I will definitely try these and I can eat them all, my husband doesn't like onions. Yum

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    Replies
    1. Becky, these are so delicious that once you make them, you wouldn't want to share them anyway :)

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  3. Awesome snacks! You make simple ones look gorgeous!!! ;)

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